As I’ve led and trained diverse sales and service delivery teams, with both new and experienced personnel, the importance of these differences has become increasingly evident. The ability to take a system, an approach, or a way of doing things and make it yours is the art of business. The most successful professionals have an innate ability to assimilate and adapt information to their mission.
Training teams to handle sales and service matters involves sharing processes and proven practices that achieve desired results. It’s necessary, however, to leave room within for variations on a theme. The logical progression of an approach may be prescribed, but the ability for team members to navigate within it should not be rigid. Otherwise, the encounter feels robotic and insincere, at least from the customer’s perspective. And that is the only perspective that really matters!
We’ve all experienced it in our own service encounters as customers. Which are the service providers with whom you enjoy interacting? Are they the ones who adapt to you, as you are, or the ones who take the same stiff approach with everyone? The same words, said exactly the same way, as a reflex reaction, don’t necessarily convey what might be intended. Consider something as simple as an acknowledgement: Is ‘My pleasure’ truly that, does ‘No problem’ mean there isn’t one, or can the expression to ‘Take it easy’ actually lighten the load for the recipient?
Within complex client conversations and negotiations there are infinite nuances to consider as the service provider. Having a plan, even a script of key questions and ‘discoverables’, is advisable and arguably necessary. Knowing where you’re starting and having a desired outcome (or next step) in mind makes a huge difference. As for everything that happens in between, well, that’s exactly different in every situation.
So, read the book, study the tools, listen to the speaker and then make it yours. The originality and sincerity of your approach will shine through and your customers will respond accordingly.
Enjoy the Journey!